Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:
Say Your Name
Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?
The story of my first name, Leslie, hinges upon the story of my middle name, D’Aun.
My mother had a close friend whose daughter was named D’Aun, (pronounced Dee Awn). Mom was enamored of the name, but didn’t want to infringe on the friend’s daughter’s name. And I suppose that might’ve been awkward.
“D’Aun, stop that right now!”
“But Mommy, I’m not doing anything!”
“Not you, D’Aun–D’Aun!”
So rather than deal with the confusion and the imagined penalty of name theft Mom elected to find a first name to precede the name D’Aun. Apparently that was no easy task. Many names were considered and subsequently discarded.
Then as my mom’s due date drew near her mother, (my Nanny), found my name while reading a book. The heroine was Leslie. And that name seemed to fit well with D’Aun.
I’ve always believed the book Nanny was reading was Giant by Edna Ferber. It was published in 1952, and I was born in ’56, so the timing would’ve been right.
In the film version of Giant, Leslie is played by Elizabeth Taylor, so that only adds to my certainty that I am the character’s namesake. I mean, just look at her and then look at me! Or not.
The pronunciation of our names is different, though. Having only seen the name in print my Nanny believed Leslie was pronounced with a soft “s” sound, whereas in the film it’s a “z” sound.
Oh, that friend of Mom’s with the daughter named D’Aun–I don’t recall ever having met her. As is often the case friends from those early years drift away and are never heard from again. They could’ve left D’Aun as my first name and no one would’ve cared.
There was a time in my life when I wished to have that romantic sounding moniker. D’Aun! I imagined in high school how much different my life might be as a D’Aun! But plain old Leslie suits me. I don’t think any other would fit me quite as well.